Johnson & Johnson saw a 14% drop in profit in Q1, reporting $3.75 billion in net earnings.
Facing thousands of talc-related lawsuits over its baby powder, the company spent $423 million on litigation expenses last quarter after spending nearly $1.3 billion on litigation in Q4 2018.
Growth in J&J’s consumer segment was offset by declining sales in its baby-care products, including baby powder. The baby-care segment dropped nearly 11% in the U.S. last quarter. On an earnings call, J&J executives attributed the decline to seasonality.
J&J is facing more than 13,000 lawsuits claiming that its baby-powder products have caused cancer. Last month, a California jury awarded $29 million to a woman who sued J&J, while a New Jersey jury cleared J&J of liability in a similar case in which a man claimed talc products caused his mesothelioma.
Analysts expected a decline in Q1 sales, but J&J beat those expectations, posting flat sales with a 0.1% increase to $20 billion.
J&J’s pharmaceutical segment grew 4.1% with $10.4 billion in sales in Q1, although its immunosuppressant Remicade saw a 15% decrease in U.S. sales and blood thinner Xarelto also reported a 6% drop.
J&J was also the first pharma company to include a list price in a TV drug ad. The company began running Xarelto ads last month that included the full list price and the range of typical out-of-pocket costs.